Friday, 11 February 2011

Black Swan

So you all MUST have heard of this film by now!  I went to see it with my girlies last night and it blew me away.  We all stood outside the cinema afterwards talking about it and I really can't remember the last time a film made that much of an impact on me.  Without ruining it for anyone who hasn't yet seen the movie, the plot is basically this:

It's a psychological thriller about a ballet dancer who wins the lead in 'Swan Lake' and is perfect for the role of the delicate White Swan - Princess Odette - but slowly loses her mind as she becomes more and more like Odette's evil sister, Odile, the Black Swan.


The story was inspired by a Dostoevsky poem 'The Double: A Petersburg Poem' which is about a man whose life is on the verge of destruction due to the sudden appearance of a double of himself.  The man is a government clerk who goes mad, obsessed by the idea that a fellow clerk has stolen, literally in every sense of the word, his identity.  The director wanted to work this story into the incredibly controlled, competitive and artistic world of ballet. 

Everything about the film was intense and beautiful.  The cinematography was spot on, the immense tension was sustained throughout the whole film and the costume design is just exquisite!  Natalie Portman was brilliant in the lead role and it's obvious from her performance that she has trained extremely hard to perfect the body and poise of a ballerina.  Apparently it took 6 months for Natalie and Mila Kunis to lose 20lbs from their already slim physiques and to attain the right body type and muscle tone of professional ballet dancers.  Obviously they both had body doubles for some of the more demanding wide shots where they have to be en pointe (on the tips of their toes) for a long time.  I have to say that it wasn't pleasant (and painful at times) to see how skinny Natalie had become but, I guess she did what she had to do for the role.


The Black and White Swan costumes were a creative collaboration between Rodarte, Amy Westcott and the director, Darren Aronofsky.  However there has been alot of controversy surrounding the fact that Amy Westcott has been all but forgotten when it comes to giving credit in the press.  How hacked off would you be if you were a massive influence in the process of creating these beautiful costumes and you didn't get any credit for it?!


The ballerina costumes had a real baroque feel to them and although they have received critisicm for not including straps, as swan lake ballerinas would wear purely for function, I think art overtook practicality on this one.  Natalie Portman's makeup and hair looked AMAZING when she played the White Swan!   




I totally fell in love with the white, floor-length gown Natalie wore in the film (which I'm assuming was Rodarte?).  Here is the initial sketch...


And here is the gown on screen...uhhhh, so beautiful!!! It would make an incredible wedding dress!


So my overall thoughts on this film is that it was as much about fashion as it was about mental illness and instability.  BUT, don't think that the fashion is the main star of the show...it just decorated the background of what was altogether a brilliantly twisted and unpredictable story.  There were quite a few points in this film where I literally jumped out of my chair.  But on a flip side, there are a few genuinely funny points too.  Natalie's character, Nina, wants so much to be perfect, disciplined and in control that it takes over her whole world.  She's so obsessed with her Swan Lake character that she eventually becomes just that.  She pushes her body and mind to the brink in a quest for ultimate perfection in her art.

I give this film a 9 out of 10!  It's not just a film for girls, I really do think that guys would like this movie too (and if they still aren't keen, just let them know about the girl-on-girl scene between Natalie and Mila!ha ha).

Have you seen this movie yet? What were your thoughts?

19 comments:

  1. I loved it. So much that I saw it again. GREAT movie! :)

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  2. Loved it! I dragged my boyfriend along and although a film about ballet would not interest him in the slightest he enjoyed this and was even talking about it when we left the cinema lol. Great Movie!

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  3. I went with my best friend and we thought it was fantastic, just like you we were talking about it all the way home x

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  4. I heard a few men giggling in shock at being sat next to their girlfriends, while watching girl on girl. Haha!

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  5. I enjoyed it, but didn't think it loved up to all the hype to be honest - much preferred The King's Speech. That said, it was beautifully directed and the costume/make up choices were divine, I'm so in love with Portman's white swan make up!xx

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  6. I loved this movie! It was inspiring and thrilling. The costumes and makeup were amazing!! Great pics :-)

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  7. I loved this movie, the dancing and the costumes were amazing. NAtalie Portman was great.

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  8. I thought the story was kind of creepy but i still liked it! :D

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  9. I must be the only one in the world who does not care to see that movie!

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  10. I loved this movie, it had a massive impact on me aswell, I couldnt stop talking about it afterwards. I really want to see The Kings Speech too because aparently thats an amazing film aswell! x

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  11. i loved this film - there's so many ways you can interpret it :) x

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  12. Loved this film, beautifully shot and Natalie is stunning! A little uncomfortable at times as I watched with my dad tho haha xx

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  13. I really, really want to see this film but NO ONE will see it with me! Think I'll have to wait for the dvd, annoying! Glad you liked it, your review makes me want to see it even more! I heard it was quite scary too?! xxx

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  14. I just saw it yesterday and I was absolutely spellbounded: the total atmosphere was really ballet-esque, even outside the ballet-scenes (the filmshots of her neck/profile/the dainty movements in the metro).

    I really liked the fact that such a prim-and-proper girl was able to find her dark-swan, although in such a extreme way (in the end). I fell in love with her white dress that she had on when introducing herself...so exquisite, and so sensual in a unobtrusive manner. But mostly I liked her transformation into the black swan with her makeup, movements, dress (and feathers)...

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  15. Thank you for this wonderful post. I'm definitely going to go to cinema next week now! Love Natalie's and Mila's style anyway but I now expect big things from this film! :)


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  16. hi there!! how's Wolverine doing?! :)
    cute blog xxxx
    dollymixfits

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  17. i was also schocked by it's story..and afterwards recommanding this movie to all:D

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  18. i cant wait to go see this film, it looks wonderful. could you or anyone possibly give me some tips on blogging as i have one in its early stages. thank you.x

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  19. I watched the movie just few days ago,loved it of course! And I thought the exact same thing about Natalie's white gown...I want it as my wedding dress!:)

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